Lowest-priced vehicles with at least six seats

What are the four lowest priced vehicles (cars, SUVs, vans, whatever is out there) that seat at least six? I mean new, not used.

Also, would you pay $12000 for a 2005 Ford Freestar? 65000 miles

Thanks in advance…

Also can someone remind me what the website is (or what one of the websites are) where you can find out how much dealers actually pay for a car, including unpublicized rebates etc?

Thanks again.

Edmonds.com and autotrader.com are your friends.

What do you mean by ‘seat 6’ exactly? There are some small SUV’s that offer a third row seating option and can theoretically seat 7 as long as two of them are small children and you don’t mind turning all your cargo space into passenger space. Toyota Rav4’s like mine and a few others have that option but they aren’t large vehicles overall.

Six seaters that can truly support 6 adults or teenagers are the realm of minivans or large SUV’s. Large SUV’s are not cheap to buy or operate so I am guessing that a minivan would be your best bet if cost is a concern. If you want a new minivan, just look at the Edmunds and Consumer Reports ratings available on the web and see what gets the best reviews for the money.

Here are the U.S. News rankings for new minivans but I certainly wouldn’t rule out used. You can get a hell of a deal on some used minivans because people get them and decide they don’t need them anymore all the time and they aren’t glamorous vehicles.




You may want to use the search term ‘third row seating’ to narrow your choices, do they make cars that seat 6 without third row seating?

Screwing around on autotrader, you can get a 2006 freestar with ~70k miles for 7k.

Yeah, the 12K for a 2005 Ford Freestar sounded way too high to me. Used minivans often go for very low prices because people only need that much space for a relatively short period. If you just need one for a couple of years, get a used one and save yourself the cash.

You really have to define what you mean by seating 6. Is this an occasional thing or will you really have six adults (or near adults) in the vehicle frequently? It is that 6th person that really throws things off because most vehicles mid-sized and above can handle 5 just fine but not 6. Do you need lots of cargo space in addition to seating 6?

What I mean by seating six is, my family has six people in it, and we at least occasionally all use the car at the same time.

It is much more common for just five people to be in the car, and we could therefore just take two cars when all of us need to go somewhere, in which case we’d just need a five-seater. But the problem there is that since the oldest is 9, he can’t sit in the front seat. So we have to have seating for four kids in non-front seats.

Does that explain it more clearly? Sorry I didn’t realize “six-seater” was ambiguous–I have never had to deal with this question before!

(Our current minivan we bought for super cheap from very good friends who happened to have one they didn’t need, so I never actually had to go shopping for one. But it appears the thing may be broken in a way I’d prefer not to pay to fix. If I’m going to spend more than a few hundred dollars on it, given that it will probably make me put another few hundred dollars in every few months for all I know, I’m considering just buying a new/better-used one.)

I am so nervous about buying used cars though. I know things are better than when I was a kid. But I mean, without a warranty, if something goes wrong, I’m completely, utterly screwed. That seems so risky to me.

Sorry, to clarify further:

I need space for two infant car seats, two child booster seats, and two adults.

Those infant car seats, btw, arguably take up more room than an adult. :frowning:

I wasn’t trying to be overly pedantic in asking for details about what you meant by seating for 6 but it turns out the later details you gave are very important. You need definitely need something with third row seating because of the car seats.

The smallest you can go is a small SUV like a Rav4 or similar with optional 3rd row seating but I think it will be too small for your needs. Large SUV’s like a Suburban or Escalade will work but they are expensive and that also doesn’t sound like a good fit. True vans can hold a whole lot more than 6 people and can be fun if they are conversion vans but the gas mileage is bad, the nicer conversion vans aren’t cheap and they aren’t that fun to drive.

That brings us back to mini-vans which do sound like the best fit for your needs. I personally would never buy a new minivan because they are essentially family utility vehicles and you can get really good deals on the used market. There is a huge difference between buying a used 2002 Dodge Caravan and something like a pre-certified 2011 model of any one you choose however. The latter is more like a new vehicle than not and should not have any significant mechanical issues for the next few years at least. Don’t be scared of used vehicles in general, especially lower mileage ones that are pre-certified and have been inspected by a mechanic. Many come with a warranty as well plus you can save thousands or more versus a new vehicle in a line that hasn’t changed significantly in many years.

If you insist on a new one, just look at Edmunds, Kelly Blue Book, U.S. News and World Report and Consumer Reports and pick the one that best fits your needs. They will tell you the fair price for both new and used and all of them are online and free.

Let me put it to you this way. You can buy a really good used mini-van for 12 - 15K precertified, low miles and in excellent condition (not the 2005 Freestar though; that isn’t a good deal). You can reasonably expect to pay roughly twice that for a brand new one once you get the final papers to sign. That saving will pay for a whole lot of small repairs and a few large ones several times over.

It depends on how much you value roughly 10K savings versus having an initially pristine family hauler that won’t stay that way for long either.

You can get a cheap raft that seats six for less than $500. :wink:

Best Affordable SUV’s with 3 rows

Looks like the least expensive ones are the Nissan Rogue, Kia Sorento, and Hyundai Santa Fe. The Dodge Journey is also inexpensive comparatively, but it is sorely lacking in interior space in my opinion. It’s much smaller on the inside than it seems like it should be.

Here is the link to the Minivan page

You of course need to try getting the kids in and out of the third row before buying anything. The accessibility of the third row varies greatly.

Are certified pre-owned car prices usually to be negotiated, or is it more of a set price tag than new cars are?

If they are generally to be negotiated, what should one use as a benchmark? KBB values or is there a way to get something more specific to a particular car?

My last two new car buys went well because I knew going in literally the exact amount that dealer paid for the car. I don’t suppose there’s anything like that for used ones though.

(BTW I don’t actually know that I’ll be buying a car, I’m just thinking of worst case scenarios right now as is my wont.)

I’d recommend a slightly used mini-van. Like a lease return. It’ll have low miles on it and some warranty left on it.

One tactic that works is finding a similar car you are also interested in (but not as much as the one you are currently picking as your number 1) and showing the dealer the price/year/miles/options of that car and asking them if they can match it. This gives you some leverage room because you can show the dealer if they will not negotiate you have a backup car you may not like as much, but would be happy with that is cheaper.

I don’t know if KBB can be used to negotiate a car. I’ve never done it because every car I’ve bought has been below blue book value (sometimes by 40%).

That is your other option. I know that many people don’t like shelling out what they think are big bucks to fix a vehicle that they think isn’t ‘worth it’ but that is often the best option. Any new vehicle is going to cost $350+ a month or much more just to purchase and you have to have collision insurance on it as well. That pays for a whole lot of repairs on an existing vehicle.

You have to think rationally about these things. What do you really care about?

  1. Seating for occasional full capacity
  2. Saving money overall
  3. General reliability
  4. The temporary pleasure of having a new vehicle versus an older one

Any new or nicer used vehicle is going to cost you thousands in total. You could possibly be better off just taking a few thousand dollars and having your existing vehicle refurbished for everything that is wrong. You can replace whole engines and transmissions in mini-vans plus have it detailed for a few thousand dollars. You won’t get the new car smell but they will run quite well indefinitely like that if you really want to save money. That is a personal choice though.

I was going to mention something about that in response to post #9, in the long run you come out ahead financially by buying a used car even if you have to repair it.

Assuming a new car takes financing you have to pay interest. A used car can be bought with cash. Plus sales taxes ($60-80 per $1000 of car) are higher since a new car costs more. Plus insurance is higher. It easily comes to $10k+ even for a lower end new car vs a 4 year old used car of the same model. 10k buys a lot of repairs, far more than any 4 year old car should require.